Tasks on Managing Communication Knowledge and Information

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TASK 1) Solving problems and making decisions are an essential part of our lives and, for managers; they form a key part of managerial activity.

Expansion at Dunrod

Dunrod Builders, a big family firm, has just employed Dina- a non- family member- as company secretary and financial controller. The company wants to expand the range of work it undertakes but it means that John Dunrod, the managing director, and his brother Alan, the general works manager, will need to spend more time planning and supervising. Both claim that they do not have time. Dina investigates and finds that, regardless of the size of each building job, Alan or John visits the customer and prepares an estimate. If they are successful in securing the work then they supervise each job, however small. With as many as 20 separate contracts running simultaneously, resource scheduling is an increasing problem; further, Alan and John have time to make only very short site visits, relying on their building workers instead. But completion dates are often unmet and the number customer complaint is rising. Dina concludes that the company has outgrown the style of management control that it adopted when it was smaller and, if it is to expand hugely, will need to make some improvements. Some of these may be structural or organisational (e.g. the roles of family members), but the issue of planning and control must be dealt with urgently. Following consultation with the family members, she institutes a system for setting objectives for each project and checking that these fit an overall plan. She also introduces a system of regular reporting and monitoring. Now she is considering the delegation and reallocation of roles to relieve Alan's and John's current workloads and the type of work.

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Expansion at Dunrod- I felt it requires problem-solving.

The criteria of SMART in the set of decision criteria. E.g. if the decision is between different photocopiers in my above Dunrod company as follows:

Specific- 2,000 copies a day; two -sided copying facility.

Measurable- Evidence from suppliers and their customers.

Agreed- Acceptable to those who must use it.

Realistic- Can be bought within the budget.

Timed- Can be delivered within week of ordering.

Decision-criteria

Essentials- Purchase cost, Ease of installation, running costs, quality of after-sales support, ease of use, specification, sort facility, stapler, remote operation, print facility.

Desirable- Binder facility.

Not acceptable- Paper trays with a capacity of less than 1000 sheets.

Other features- A new model, three months or less since introduction.

Uncertainties- Availability of option 3.

Using the SMART objectives it is required to assess that the overall objective is achieved- whether the decision was effective.

Internal environment comprises the organisation itself, its staff, resources and facilities. The internal environment is said to be one that managers can control, but, of course, not all managers have control over all aspects of the internal environment, and many aspects of the internal environment are actually rather difficult to change. The external environment includes customers, clients, contractors, suppliers and competitors, as well as intermediaries and other identifiable stakeholders. These cannot be controlled by managers but they may be influenced to some extent. They certainly often have the ability to influence the organisation and then its managers. Organisations differ in their structure and relationships with the outside world. These differences include where the boundaries between the internal and external environment lie.

Expansion at Dunrod - As above I stated it requires problem-solving I also feel it is an unknown solution. So in the case of the unknown solution, the problem is likely to require some further investigation or reinvestigation so that a solution can be found which resolves it satisfactorily. In an unknown solution case in this situation a manager wants to make an improvement to a system. The ultimate goal is known-improvement- but any current problems within the system are not known, so the solution that will improve the system is not known. Dina concludes that the company has outgrown the style of management control that it adopted when it was smaller and, if it is to grow, will need to make some improvements. Some of these may be structural or organisational (e.g. the roles of family members), but the issue of planning and control must be dealt with urgently. Following consultation with the family members, she institutes a system for setting objectives for each project and checking that these fit an overall plan. She also introduces a system of regular reporting and monitoring. Now she is considering the delegation and reallocation of roles to relieve Alan's and John's current workloads and the type of work so she thinks it will bring her company and employees to improvement.

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TASK 2) Dunrod Builders can only compete in market environment if it uses all its value added networking facilities. This is important for every business the networking and business relationships.

Porter's five forces model: Much strategy particularly in the private sector is concerned with establishing and maintaining competitive advantage. Porter's model identifies five types of competitive pressure within a sector: established competitors, new entrants to the market, substitute products, the bargaining power of suppliers and that of customers. Porter argues that rivalry among existing firms is not the only competitive force. The degree of competitiveness or rivalry within an industry depends, too, on the availability of substitutes, the strength of suppliers and buyers (customers), and the threat of new entrants (which in turn depends on the ease of entry). The experts play a vital role in research, advice, money-trading and the performance of the business. Suppliers are important because their relative power can determine what proportion of the price of the final product they capture. Organisations need to consider not only the behaviour of current competitors but also the potential for other organisations to enter the market. An organisation needs to consider not only those competitors offering similar products or services, but also those offering products or services that may act as substitutes.

Culture represents "The way we do things here" (Aiden 2010). The organisational culture refers to the atmosphere or climate within the organisation and to the values that influence the way that people work and are managed. The culture of an organisation will be an important part of the whole experience of working there. The way Dunrod builder's secretary and financial controller Dina have decided of the improvement so the service is delivered to its target customers. Each organisation will have its own collection of values and attitudes. The culture will be expressed publicly in the mission statement, in the organisational logo and in the way that the financial accounts are presented. All these expressions will have been chosen deliberately to present a particular image of the organisation. Managing the culture of an organisation is seen as an important way of responding to a need for change, since the culture of an organisation and its performance are said to be inextricably linked. The aim is to shape the organisational culture to help align employees values and behaviour with the organisation's goals and priorities. This will increase employees commitment to the organisation; it is suggested and thereby improve loyalty, productivity and dedication to the organisation's purpose. Thus the culture of quality, customer service, organisational culture must be shown more by Dunrod Builders if it wants to survive in the competitive game of business.

Dunrod Builders can do surveys, customer feedback, Timely doing things for which promises given. Organising social events, community works, charity events, local football events, cricket team events. Personal networking can be through friends, relatives, society, word of mouth, advertising, media, face to face, facebook, twitter and other social networking sites.Business relationships can be through conferences, seminars, business clubs & meetings, cultural events , partnerships, etc. The organisation can be divided into two structures, they are formal and informal structures. The formal structures consists of the lines of communication between people. In addition to the formal structure, there will be other relevant relationships within the organisation. There will be networks of different kinds, such as the alliances that a manager forms with other managers.When two organisations merge, the loyalties to the two original organisations will remain in place, at least for a time. The members will feel they are still part of one network or the other. A manager who wants to be effective within the organisation needs to be sensitive to these informal structures or relationships as well as the formal ones. A network or virtual organisation consists of a partnership of several organisations instead of differentiated functional departments bound together in one organisation.

TASK 3)This can be done by observing the following below:

Strengths and weaknesses of the current communication

examples of internal environment such as communication with staff regularly to find out what is needed and required, to see everything is going well and accurately, arranging monthly meeting, publishing newsletters and staff bulletin, circular. The external environment such as media, supplier and customers. Regular contact with the supplier to ensue every thing is coming regularly and up to date, involving media to know the world about the business through advertisement, news etc. Sending customers offers, taking their surveys, feedbacks, queries and complaints and respond to it quickly .Improving communication has two aspects to it: understanding what helps effective communication and recognising barriers to it. Managers will find that some barriers can be removed or lowered, while others must be accepted. Barriers can be categorised in various ways. Here is a general one, which includes most of the common barriers, they are: Physical barriers and distractions, Perceptual barriers, Emotional barriers, Cultural barriers, Language barriers, Gender and status barriers and Interpersonal barriers.

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The justifications are better brand, increase in market share, positive image etc. These all can be implemented to ensure greater integration of systems of communication in that organisation. Branding means creating an identity for a product, associating it with buying not just a product but buying into a lifestyle and certain values.Dunrod Builders can provide their brand with an effective foundation, it is required to consider all the elements such as: efficient production, high service levels, strong supply chain, effective selling, and low-cost operation.The positive image of the company is important for the customers, suppliers etc, otherwise the company is useless, if Dunrod builders have their name in stock exchange so if the shares in the market is increased the more customers they will get who are interested to invest in their companies and become shareholders. The benefits of branding are: brand names can be a good way of differentiating products, well-known and trusted brands can serve as a shortcut for consumers trying to choose between competing offers, customers can immediately identify specific products or services they do and do not like, companies can benefit from a brand image when launching new products, because customers may attach their perception of the brand value to the new product, sellers benefit because branding encourages repeat purchasing, leading to brand loyalty, brand loyalty can enable companies to charge a premium price, leading to higher profit margins, top brands present an image of quality to such an extent that superior brand position is linked with market leadership.

Task 4) It is like sender encodes a message it been processed and been delivered to the receiver. Storage of information is required for collection. Collection takes place in two ways they are as follows: secondary and primary research. Secondary research is the research where the data that are already available, organisation's internal resources, office of national statistics, mintel, keynote. Primary research is the data that are derived from a new research study. There are advantages and disadvantages of primary and secondary research they are:

Primary data are collected specifically for organisation's purpose.

It is up to date and relevant; it can be expensive, poorly designed research yields useless data.

Secondary data are cheaper, required data may not exist, may not be relevant, accurate, up to date or impartial.Good presentation and distribution is required too. Distribution channel is extremely important in every business. It involves competition, global market place, internet. In a group working, a presentation is a way of communicating the group's views and findings, and it can be used to generate ideas and gather valuable feedback. The steps in preparing a presentation are: a) Plan, b) Audience, c) Teamwork, d) Prepare. The layout of the presentation should be as follows: In a Relax way, get attention and arouse interest, tell listeners when they can ask questions, be easy to listen to, monitor the audience, watch the time, dealing with questions.

The implementation can be of the finance money, physical, HR and time. The using of both primary and secondary data. Formatting can be on Urdu, Hindi, Bangla, Telugu, Arabi, French, Chinese etc. Due to the expense/financial constraints, lack of time, physical limitations/ill health so needs to be justified and implement to improve. Finance and money should be budgeted for collection, formatting, storage, disseminating information and knowledge though it is costly for using public sources of information.It is important that any records intend to use to support a case or as evidence of performance are collected and maintained in a consistent manner, otherwise it will find difficult to compare trends over time. Records can be reliable, they are controllable and implementable in-house, they make it easy to extract comparisons over time and between events and activities. There are number of methods of collecting data, both quantitative and qualitative. Many methods can produce either type of data. It is advisable to select the methods which best suit purposes and are most appropriate to research questions. It is important to comply with data protection laws (Data Protection Act 1998 in the UK). Details and free copies can be found on the internet.Conducting information searches it is required to clarify the aims, set limits, explore the topic, choosing information sources, use sources systematically and obtain material and use it effectively.

A good system of communication should achieve certain objectives. They are - Understanding, Simplicity, Clarity, Reliability, Dependability, targeting to the right audience.

Correcting misunderstandings and problems is very important. The following positive behaviours are important. Firstly, Test understanding and summarise- Checking that everyone understands the things in the same way and clarify the structure of any agreement. These behaviours will also help to build relationships by demonstrating that it is listening and appreciating what others have been saying. Communicating clearly is important because it also controls the listening and perception of the audience. To target the right audience is advisable to wait until the audience is quiet, look directly at listeners and make opening statements with enthusiasm and energy without referring to the notes. It is also required to monitor the audience and better to ask their opinion on the argument or information presented so far. Its best not to distract audience with too much physical movement like try moving, sitting or by using more hand gestures to emphasise points. Simplicity is important it is better to make and keep presentation short and simple. While talking to peoples it is required to be soft, humble. The information provided must be reliable to the audience otherwise everything would be false and no further trust would be gathered from the audience if once lost. Dependability rather than improving and trying to solve it by own may bring negative results.

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